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Saving Money at the Pump this Winter

29 November 2012

Alright, it is cold out there. The low winter temperatures may result in driving more often than walking and biking. Check out these tips to help you fill up your tank less this winter.

Go the speed limit! : Every 10 mph you drive over 60 mph reduces fuel economy by about 4 mpg. This can add up especially when you are driving long distances to visit relatives over the holidays. See Neely’s experience about driving the speed limit cross country  here.

Start diving as soon as the engine starts: Try and limit your idling right when you start your car to 30 – 60 seconds.  This way it will warm up a lot faster and not waste as much gas. Modern engines function much better in cold that they used to, so you don’t really need to worry about the health of your engine. If it is below zero all your car will need is a maximum of 5 minutes. More on this here and here.

Plan to combine:  Keeping your engine warm and combining your errands. This can use half the gas as taking several short trips starting from a cold engine. Source.

Avoid unnecessary idling: If you are expecting a wait, turn off your car. After just 10 seconds of idling it saves gas to turn off your car.  Every 2 seconds past that uses the same amount of gas as driving about 1 mile. Source.

Properly inflate your tires: For an extra efficiency boost keep your tires at the proper pressure. This can increase your MPG by about 3%. Your tires will also be safer and last longer! Source.

Drive to the Limit

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